Life on Whidbey: Bulgaria calls to Coupeville woman

“I do believe in life everything happens for a reason and that I would not be what I am today without the people I have met along the way,” said Coupeville artist STELLA CANFIELD. “Many of the ideas I have had and expressions come from this wonderful community.”

And the community will miss her dearly, when she and her husband MICHAEL leave for Bulgaria on March 22. She left there 27 years ago and going home again seems like the right thing to do.

“We bought an old adobe house in a remote village near the Black Sea and remodeled it,” said MICHAEL. “The village is called Barzitsa and is 65 kilometers southwest from Varna, the town where Stella grew up. We’ll spend this year there and return to the island for a few months in the spring of 2008.”

The Canfields also sold their Coupeville home and bought a small place with a breathtaking view of Mount Baker. “We plan to spend a few months every year here,” she added.

They look forward to the simple life, gardening, cooking, painting and creating and sharing with their friends.

“The orphanage Stellar Arts Foundation adopted is located in our village and we look forward to working with the children to help them integrate into society,” Stella said.

The Artists Adventure Tours, organized by Stellar Arts Foundation, uses its proceeds to pay for the needs of local orphans. Stella will be the tour leader when local artists come to see and paint Bulgaria, Prague and the Czech Republic. Stellar Arts Foundation also hopes to visit Hungary, Vietnam and Holland in the future.

Stella will return in June for a workshop in Port Townsend, organized by Seattle Co-Arts.

“Bulgaria is very friendly these days,” Michael noted. “The London Daily Telegraph recently reported on the number of people locating there because of the pastoral beauty, friendly people, climate and low cost of living.”

Eileen’s back …

BRENT DOVE worked the cash register, ringing up customers, while the namesake of Eileen’s Creative Kitchenware, his wife EILEEN DOVE, went over paperwork in the office.

“I let her come in for just an hour or two,” Brent said, referring to a fairly serious bout of tummy trouble that landed Eileen in Harborview Medical Center.

Brent is grateful to his boss at Frito-Lay for letting him take time off. “That is the finest group of managers I’ve worked with over my entire career,” he said.

The Doves spent last Saturday in Port Angeles at Olympic Cellars, picking up more “Working Girl” wines for their new cellar and to slow down a bit with a relaxing day away.

Business is humming again at the store on Pioneer Way where shelves are full of everything a serious cook wants and where a lady who takes tea can find the perfect teapot.

“We’ll be so happy to see our customers again,” said Eileen. “We are really glad to be back.”

Don’t break the chain …

Back in the days of envelopes and stamps, women would send chain letters to their friends and relatives living across the country. Some felt they were a mere nuisance. Some thought chain letters were the work of the devil.

With the Internet, you can forward the chain letter to 10, 56, 98 people if you want to. But beware! You must not break the chain!

The day after one woman’s mother forwarded hers, she got an offer on their land on the Suwannee River; one person reported getting a bond approved; a lady won a refrigerator full of soft drinks; a gal won a microwave; and a young man received an unexpected windfall.

People who don’t want a run of bad luck usually send their chain letter on as soon as they get it. I’m a skeptic. If my luck depended on passing along chain letters, I’d never have time to write this silly column. (A friend’s description of this here column. I’m OK with that. Silly is good.)

Those were the days …

Call TERRI at 360-320-2662 if you graduated with the Oak Harbor High School class of 1987. A 20-year class reunion will be held Aug. 3 to 5.

Know what happens when the dog refuses to come in from the backyard and you can’t remember the last time you washed your car? Spring! See you March 14. Write me at or call 675-6611.